The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in both their desire to honor Maurice Strong in his 80th year and to influence the current debates on climate change, is hosting the Maurice Strong Environmental Debate on July 1st and 2nd, 2009 at the IUCN world headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. They are bringing together 100 leading subject matter experts including senior government representatives, UN decision makers, scientists, philanthropists and non-governmental and business leaders to discuss key environmental issues facing our world today.

2009 is the year in which the future of our planet will be decided. The upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, to be held in Copenhagen this December, is critically important. It will be remembered by future generations as the time and the place where we either succeeded or failed to tackle the issue of our time, climate change. Do we as a species have the political will and commitment necessary to make the urgent changes so critically needed?

The objective of the Maurice Strong Environmental Debate is to provide this select group of thought leaders a platform to make recommendations on how the lessons of the past can contribute to the important issues that must be addressed in Copenhagen.

At this reunion of many of the key leaders who worked with Maurice Strong during the 1992 Earth Summit and its preceding Preparatory Committee meetings, a number of initiatives will be announced. As a highlight to this event, the IUCN will be honoring the "future-oriented and very concrete engagement of Maurice Strong to make our world a better place." I am extremely fortunate to have been invited to participate in this debate.

In recognition of Maurice Strong's lifelong commitment to the environment, two special episodes of Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Summit to Save Earth, Part 1 and 2, are being premiered for the first time on-line at www.MNN.com/captainplanet. These special episodes were originally broadcast globally during the 1992 Earth Summit to bring worldwide attention to the importance of this historic conference.

In this animated parody of the Earth Summit negotiations, Secretary General Fuerte is none other than an animated version of Maurice Strong.

Part 1 sees Heads of State come together under one roof in Rio de Janeiro to discuss how to best prevent the growing danger of climate change and other critical environmental issues worldwide. Zarm, Gaia's nemesis, returns to earth with a sinister plot. He calls a Board Meeting of Captain Planet and the Planeteers' greatest foes, Hoggish Greedy, Looten Plunder, Sly Sludge, Duke Nukem, Verminous Skumm and Dr. Blight, whose voices were played by some of Hollywood's greatest talent. Whoopi Goldberg, Sting, Jeff Goldblum, Martin Sheen, Ed Asner, Meg Ryan, Louis Gosset, Jr., LeVar Burton, Dean Stockwell and James Coburn all lent their voices to these very special episodes in honor of Maurice Strong and the Earth Summit.

As the episode continues, the Planeteers are greatly impressed by the proposed environmental treaties being negotiated at the Summit until the world leaders suddenly reverse their positions! Using Zarm's treachery and Dr. Blight's evil body snatching machine, the eco-villains take over the bodies of the Global Leaders, even Secretary General Fuerte (Strong) himself. Zarm captures the Planeteers, steals their rings and zaps Gaia into human form, aging her and destroying the planet simultaneously.

In Part 2, the Planeteers escape from captivity in Zarm's ship to discover that it is 10 years later and they are in a post climate change world. Zarm has their rings and their powers. What to do? First, they must find Commander Clash.

Visit www.MNN.com/captainplanet to discover how Captain Planet and the Planeteers, along with Commander Clash, save the day. See how they turn back time so that Secretary General Fuerte (Strong) and the Earth Summit can triumph.

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